Category Archives: dog

Festival Of Lights – and Happy Things

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We just wrapped up the the Channukah season.

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Ben passed his first semester at the big school. He was overjoyed. He came home for the four days Walmart hadn’t scheduled him to work. We worked him hard, watched movies and let him talk our ears off. And we fed him the Thanksgiving dinner he missed and sent him back with half the turkey meat. Eat on young buck!!

I loved having him around.

At the same time my daughter did a favor for a friend. She took in their little puppy for the short time they went out of town. The friend couldn’t believe her mom and dad were on board with it. A puppy? A not house broken, up in the middle of the night, cute as a button and more baby dog.

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Who could say no to that little face? Meet Chicken.

No that isn’t a typo. The little girl who owns him calls him Chicken. No idea why, but he really knows his name after a week at my house. He comes when you call him. Comes running with kisses and sharp toothed little puppy nips. Small and full of life and wiggles all soft and cuddly. And when he comes he jingles, because around his neck hangs a little bell. That’s because he can disappear like a roach and we need to be able to find him. “tinkle, tinkle, tinkle”

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Gahhh, I’m such a sap. We loved having him.

We didn’t dare let him off that leash outdoors. Chicken thought the grass was a play field in which he could run, and run, and run, and run. That little dog could run fast for something with such short stubby little legs, too. Cooper raced after him the last time he got away and side-swiped him for me, tumbling him end over end. The little thing rolled and lost his bearings enough he laid on his back, puppy paws in the air, long enough for me to scoop him up.

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Chicken is also now a traveling pup. He loved looking out the window as the miles flew by. If he wasn’t somebody else’s little guy, we’d have kept him for good.

Cooper might have had something to say about that, though. He spent the afternoons keeping out of Chicken’s reach. That meant sitting on the edge of the bed where stubby little puppy feet couldn’t gain enough purchase to climb up.

Then when Chicken went home, the house silent of his little bell, Cooper laid around looking rather depressed. After all those evasive maneuvers to keep out of Chicken reach, I thought Cooper would be glad to have the house and us to himself. Evidently even bothersome puppies can endear themselves to older canines…

… and old men. My husband misses ole Chicken.

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This lovely distraction is just what my tired brain needs. A rest from the book that doesn’t seem to want to be finished and shot of pure puppy joy. It’s what we all need.

Happy Holidays to all. I hope all your wishes come true. I know mine have in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Our Last Day … Loads of Fun

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This was our last day. Four hours of it disappeared on the “fetch the rental car” expedition. A really nice drive to Bay City, but all the same, used up time. Kelly was stir crazy waiting on us and my poor mom was in her chair. We ran her ragged this week. Movie watching was all she had the energy for.

We gathered up Cooper, put on our walking shoes and talked Dad into driving us to the beach-bay-lake. It was time for a walk and Cooper was part of it, though the early morning ride in the car made his day already.

The walk through the city park, a beach side venue, started very nicely. That was until I hit a patch of shade. Yikes! Cold!! The temperature had barely warmed from the day before. The sun was out, but a brisk breeze still kissed our fannies with every step we took.

Shivering through every shady spot we passed we finally made it to the marina/pier.

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Cooper was all frisky and perky still.

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Because his favorite thing to do is scratch and scratch and scratch his back and head on the wonderfully rough texture of ever-loving, marvelously simple concrete.

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Even here he was pulling at the leash. Kelly kept wanting to carry him, thinking his little legs had worn out already.

That was until we took a good look at the trek back. This is a loong pier. You don’t realize how far you’ve walked until you look back down to the return trip.

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I think Cooper felt the same way… his legs gave out before the end of the pier. We can tell because his tongue starts hanging out and he starts lagging behind.

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By the time we reached the last 100 ft of the walk way he was totally wiped. What a wuss. Short legs just aren’t conducive to long walks. See his tongue hanging out? Notice his limp little body? Pooped out.

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And then Kelly took a liking to this craft. It’s half the size of the ones we walked past, but every bit as nice.

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Then, because this was our last day and we hadn’t had enough of the lake or the water, cold as it was, we decided to do something exciting and reckless and dangerous. Did I mention reckless. It was scary to me.

We rented a skidoo thingy and ran the waves on Lake Huron. Geared up …

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… and hit the water. Did I forget to say I have to drive since I’m over 18 yrs? Yep, that’s me in the front. I wasn’t thrilled. I’m the girl who watches her kids as THEY ride the roller coaster. I live vicariously, I tell you. I don’t require first hand thrills. But here I am about to live the thrill. Bob watched Cooper and I had to drive. *shivers*

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Very tame here, on idle as we exit the marina.

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Then it was …. did I mention scary? The water was the deepest navy blue I’ve ever seen directly below me. I gunned it gradually. Then Kelly MADE me gun it again. We went 35mph easy over the surface of that fathomless bay, water spraying in our faces, the wind whipping around us. We traveled at least three or four miles along the shore… off in the deep area. Then we doubled back, skirting the shallower edge so I wouldn’t freak out over the dark, dark blue waters. Water sprayed us and we dried off in the brisk air as we sailed over the waves. I almost got comfortable. Almost.

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Then I glanced at the watch they gave me. We were only ten minutes into our hour.

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Twenty more minutes was all I could stomach. Not to mention my throttle fingers kept falling asleep. Not a desirable attribute for a skidoo operator.

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I couldn’t wait to idle us back into the marina.

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Does that look like a stupid grin on my face? Why, hell yes it is! There are no words to describe the relief pulsing through me as I made my way slowly to the dock. I think I’m getting too old for this kind of excitement. But… this will keep me young.

For the most part, this was an exhilarating day. It was still pretty chilly out there, but the way the skin on my face tingled from wind burn and the sun made me feel alive. And that is always worth the buzz it gives.

Bless you for enduring the updates of my vacation. I hoped to impart some my joy. Thank you for sharing in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Day Three in a Michigan Breeze

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Wednesday started out cool… cold by Arkansas standards, and down right cool by Michigan standards. A brisk breeze blew off the bay, but the sun peeped in and out of fluffs of clouds. In the forecast, rain for the afternoon. No time waste for the day.

We took off for a bike ride first thing in the morning. A ride along the beach path was inviting, having never done it before. Kelly and I straddled those bikes like we did it every day and took off with Mom to the lake. It was a great ride.

We made sure we wore the appropriate clothing.

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The bay was quiet and calm. Quite a sight for a country girl unaccustomed to large expanses of water.

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We stopped into the local coffee shop/java hut and had a real cuppa in a real mug (mine was mocha, of course). Very gemutlich.

We had the sun on our side and still enough time to beat the weather. Then we dressed and packed up and made for the beach. Today was senior picture shoot day. I took a boat load of pictures. A few turned out really great. Here are a smattering.

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The wind blew and the sun winked at us from between and behind the clouds. I knelt in the wet sand and the cold water sloshed over my bare feet as I snapped a LOT of pics. But as you can see, the subject was exceptional. Then Cooper barked at us incessantly.

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We took more pics along the cold beach in the biting wind.

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And Cooper kept up his notes of displeasure. More barking and barking.

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We called it a day. It time to find shelter from the afternoon rains. Thank goodness for diligence. It really rained a lot this afternoon.

Thanks for sharing my little piece of heaven today. It really was a piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Summer In Michigan

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We finally made it to East Tawas.

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Kelly’s first time to be this far north and lay eyes on one of this country’s Great lakes. Lake Huron.

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Our first full day is glorious and warm and sun-shiny. Michigan revealed all her natural charms as Mom took us on a little tour of the area. First stop, of course, is the bay. Specifically the public pier. Dozens of boats are moored here behind a break wall. Even Cooper didn’t mind the giant expanse of water around him.

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He took the outing as an adventure. Well, this whole trip is his adventure. It’s Cooper’s first vacation.

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Mom took us to see the Lumberman’s Monument here. This area had a huge lumber industry at the turn of the century. My great-grandfather was a lumberman, as a matter of fact. Sadly, this writer didn’t even snap a picture of the monument itself. I was taken by the scenery ….

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… and the opportunity to take a trip down this large hill via a few hundred steps of stairs…

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The park overlooks the Ausable River. Lumber was harvested from the surrounding forests, pine and deciduous trees growing in huge numbers here. The logs were brought to the edges of the river, off the towering edges of the woods along the river, and dumped down long drops into the river to float down to the lumber mills.

Kelly and don’t hesitate a second when that wooden staircases invites us to the river’s edge a few hundred few below us. We take off, with Cooper, of course. He is always up for an adventure.

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Having such short legs does keep him from traveling at human pace. We carry him most of the way.

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At the river’s edge we find a barge replica the loggers lived off of. They cooked and ate on it as they floated down the river. I love history. Especially rustic and manly morsels. I won’t bore you with it all. Then we climb back up the stairs, a considerable more challenging feat than the descent. Very invigorating!

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We found a local fresh fish market and bought fresh caught lake perch and white fish. We fried t up for lunch and ate like kings. As my grandfather used to say, often mind you,”I wonder what the poor people are doing today.” We are rich and blessed. Outstanding flavors of the area. Great idea Dad!

The day wasn’t over yet. A warm afternoon drew us to the beach. Too pretty, my little girl. I love taking pictures of her. I know, I’m shameless.

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Crisp breezes, sparkling water, the pleasant burn of the sun on our skin finds us on the beach with most of the other tourists. Kelly tries to acclimate Cooper to the water, but he isn’t having any of it.

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He may look all right, but in real time his little feet are paddling to keep him out of the water.
Dad and my mom found the most pleasant spot under the trees, a breeze blowing through, to watch. Cooper found it as a safe haven.

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After a late afternoon nap, and I mean all of us, Kelly included, and dinner we finished our day by listening to the community band concert in the park. The constant breeze kept bugs at bay. We had a great day.

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We pack a boat load of stuff into this day because we aren’t sure how often the sun is going to shine this week. Rain has been a constant this summer. Needless to say, we are pooped by the end of the day. Best day ever!!

Thanks for sharing this little slice of my heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Our Best Friend

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I have to extol the glories of having a best friend in a small dog. I never imagined I’d be one of THEM. One of those people who look lovingly after every little quirk and cute look his littleness does. I am a sap and that’s all there is to it. This little mutt has endeared himself to us in ways I never dreamed possible. He lives in the house, demanding the same privileges as one of our kids, which he gets without hesitation. He gets his own place to sit, which is anywhere he wants.

Cooper learned early to beg for people food when my husband generously shared his first morsel with him. The little fellow now bounds onto C-Man’s lap with the first sight of a snack in Dad’s hand. That also means he follows me to the kitchen knowing I will inadvertently drop scraps to the floor for him to scarf up. Not on purpose mind you. If I want him to have something special the little guy gets a scrambled egg.

Most remarkable to me is how Cooper follows me all around the house. (Not because I feed him eggs either.) I get up in the night and the little guy follows me to the bathroom. Such devotion is so astounding. Especially to one of us old cat aficionados. He is hot my heels throughout the whole house.

Our bed, the parent’s bed, is also Cooper’s bed. Every evening he scrapes together a pile of covers before he settles into a tight little ball. Before that he rubs his mouth and head all over the place and pops his head up with a perfect case of bed-head. Just a funny quirk to a former cat person.

Cooper loves the out doors. He’s too small for us allow him to roam freely… hawks and other predators around the farm you know might grab him. Not to mention his innate drive to chase the chickens with a vehemence unsurpassed by any other predator on our farm. He’s always on a leash when we go out.

He loves to run…

I love those ears flopping in the breeze. You should see all that hair flowing in the air as he runs!! He’s a sight and these pictures don’t quite do him credit.

But you can get some sort of an idea.

You can get the idea how he feels about all that running. His face says it all.

This is his favorite place to be when he’s not chasing chickens and kittens. This is our daughter’s shoulder.

Of course she adores this silly little dog.

And…. to make matters worse, we have been sucked into the dog accessories world. Check this out…

He does a perfect model stance, don’t you think? This piece of apparel is needed should the thick fluff of hair he has be too thin to keep the cold off his back. Or should it be raining so hard he might get soaked when he steps out for a sec, because it only takes a second when the weather is inclement.

We have totally bought into having an inside pet. How can such an endearing creature not give you solace and joy? How can he not wrap you around his little paw?

Oh. My. Gosh. He’s just too much.

I’d love to hear about your favorite creature, large or small. Who makes you all mushy inside and give you so much in return? Let me know.

Love,
Jeannene

The Best Cat-Sitter Ever

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Recently one our female cats had a litter of kittens. But, like most mama cats, she hid them very well. They finally grew up enough to be playing in a spot where I can see them. That makes them fair game for the people mama to scarf them up and man-handle them to little pieces.

When Cooper found out what caught my attention, he wanted a good look at it too. When he saw those those little fluffy bodies all he wanted to do was lick on them and play. I feared for the little things and made sure it was really short visit with as little mauling as possible.

The next day we bring those little buggers into the house, I put them in his pet bed in the big chair. He hops up there with them and starts a very different behavior from any he’s portrayed. He nuzzles their little bodies and maneuvers around the little bed to keep them from leaving the area.

He uses his body to block any progress.

He is such a hoot to watch in action. You do realize, Cooper is still a puppy himself? To see him mother these little fellows is entertaining.

He is such a rag-a-muffin.

He doesn’t take his eyes off of them. If he does, that little black one escapes. She’s a pill I tell you. Adventuresome and bold.

They’re starting to scatter a bit here.

And don’t let those little innocent faces fool you. They’ll as soon jump ship as look at you.

Now for the whole scenario on live action.

He just wants to play and love those little fellows. Note the black kitten perched on the edge of the chair… She’ll jump as sure as she can get a chance. Amazing to me is how gentle Cooper is with them.

I’d love to hear about your pet’s antics. Drop me a note.

Thanks for peeking into this little slice of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene